Japan’s biggest business daily, The Nikkei, today reports that the country’s biggest e-commerce company, Rakuten, is planning to links its Japanese and Taiwanese online malls so that customers from these countries can order products from both Japan- and Taiwan-based merchants.
According to the paper, the integration will take place by the end of this year. But it’s not going to be a full-scale integration, at least not initially.
Rakuten apparently plans to translate the web sites of some 75 Taiwanese stores into Japanese and make them accessible through the domestic website. Shoppers living in Japan can then order various products from Taiwan, for example fashion items or groceries, through Rakuten’s Japanese site.
Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan, which was established in 2007, will get significantly more Japanese retailers. According to the plan, Taiwanese customers will be able to choose between a whopping 16 million products from 7,800 Japanese Rakuten stores – as early as by September this year.
Rakuten caused huge splashes with its multi-million dollar acquisitions of American e-commerce platform Buy.com and France’s Priceminister earlier this year. By linking its Taiwanese and Japanese online malls, Rakuten follows the strategy of Yahoo Japan Shopping (Japan’s second largest e-commerce site), which is now linked to Taobao, a major shopping platform in China.
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